Reports: Akash Deep likely to debut in the fourth Test vs England

With the ongoing India versus England Test series, all eyes are now on Bengal pacer Akash Deep, who might make his debut in the upcoming fourth Test in Ranchi. The decision comes after India released Jasprit Bumrah from the squad, opening up an opportunity for the promising young bowler.

Amidst thoughts over potential replacements for Bumrah, there is a recent report from the Indian Express which indicates that the selectors have been particularly impressed by Akash Deep’s recent performances for India A. Akash Deep received his maiden India call-up for the last three Test matches. His stellar bowling display, which saw him claim 13 wickets in three matches against the England Lions, has unquestionably caught the attention of the decision-makers.

While Mukesh Kumar remains another viable option to fill Bumrah’s shoes, Akash Deep’s consistency and form can earn him the nod. Mukesh, despite a commendable ten-wicket haul in Bengal’s recent Ranji Trophy outing, struggled to make an impact during the second Test in Visakhapatnam.

The absence of Bumrah, coupled with Mohammed Shami’s ongoing recovery from injury, has prompted the team management to turn to domestic talents like Akash Deep. Having played 30 matches in first-class cricket, the cricketer has an impressive record, having already claimed 104 wickets at an average of 23.58 since his debut in 2019.

The ongoing Test series has already seen some debutants, with the likes of Sarfaraz Khan, Rajat Patidar, and Dhruv Jurel. The fourth Test might see a couple of new faces being added to the playing XI, with Akash Deep and Devdutt Padikkal in contention.

As India carries a slender 2-1 lead in the series, the upcoming Test in Ranchi carries immense significance. With the opportunity to secure an unassailable lead, the onus will be on the hosts to deliver an authoritative performance.